White Sugar Trade

The expansion of the white sugar trade has been closely linked to the emergence of the EU as a massive exporter and the rise of sugar requirements in the Arab world and Black Africa in the 1970s.

For a long time, the EU was the sole sizeable white sugar supplier, with a market share of 50% in the 1980s.


Since then, not only have new refineries been built at destination, displacing a part of white sugar demand, but also the structure of the white sugar demand itself has evolved. Since the middle of the 1990s, high quality whites have been displaced partly by low quality whites, which account for about 40% of the market nowadays. However the setting up of new refineries at destination (Yemen, Syria, Bahrein) and the 2017 reform in the EU which would make again this country as a large exporter should allow the refined segment to regain some impetus.


As for the raw sugar market, supply is very concentrated, with Brazil, EU ,Thailand and refineries at destination  representing 60% of white sugar exports.
On the demand side, white sugar trade is more atomized than the raw sugar trade, with the ten largest importing countries representing less than 45% of white sugar demand.